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Here is the News

InTouch - Newsletter - #88

Welcome to the eighty-eighth edition of “In-Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit reply and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: "Here is the News"

Last week, my 11-year-old son Rolando rushed into our living room to share some news with me about his footballing skills.

It was only after he had finished talking that I realised – to my astonishment – how, when delivering his news, he had unknowingly made use of a 90-year-old-technique that was straight out of Dale Carnegie’s celebrated book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

He started by telling me that his shooting ability had become a lot stronger and, before I could utter some words of praise, he went on to say that it was now so strong that a stray shot had just hit my new car and dented it. He urged me to go and take a look.

And while I was absorbing this second piece of news, he capped everything off by telling me that what I had been saying to him for some time – how working out would really help improve his game and make his shooting more powerful – was absolutely right.

My son had apparently been paying attention to what I had been reading or absorbing online! How else could he have known about Carnegie’s well-known “criticism sandwich” technique, which is considered one of the best ways to give feedback to someone: Start with a compliment (in my son’s case, the good news); then go into the criticism (the bad news) and end with another positive twist (complimenting me that I was right).

Since I had only owned my new car for three weeks, I ought to have been really upset but, in reality, I congratulated my son for his honesty. Of course, he thought that my words of praise were about his impeccable shot!

The fact that Rolando had the courage to come and tell me what happened – and walk me to my car and show me the minor damage, which I probably wouldn’t have noticed – says a lot about his integrity.

The legendary Steve Jobs once described the type of person who was attracted to working for Apple as “Someone who really wants to get in a little over his head and make a little dent in the universe.”

Rolando put a little dent in my car with his football but another in my universe by being so honest and transparent, which is why, when my wife asked me when I was going to get the dent straightened out, I told her that I would leave it there to remind us that we’ve raised a loving and trusting family.

I am proud of my son’s growing talent on the football pitch but even more proud of the fact that he knows that he can always tell me the bad news as well as the good.

Words of Wisdom

“When people know the reason things are happening, even if it's bad news, they can adjust their expectations and react accordingly. Keeping people in the dark only serves to stir negative emotions.” Simon Sinek

A Question to Ponder, dear friend.

How do you ensure that your team feels comfortable to deliver any news – good or bad – to you?

Hit reply and let me know.

*Shout out to Mark Fletcher-Brown for the photo on this newsletter.